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    What's your level of perfection?

    I think I have too much time on my hands.

    That said, when I worked as a newspaper reporter I had a sign above my desk that said something to the effect of "the perfect is the enemy of the good." Basically, it was a reminder that while I wanted to write like E.B. White or Pete Hamil, the main goal was to get a text that told the story truthfully and, on occasion, artfully. However, one couldn't let the art get in the way of the truth.

    One of the things that I noticed when I go to Paducah is my belief that I'll never be that good. Right now, of course I know I'm not. When I look at my early newspaper stories, I cringe compared to what I produced toward the end of my career. I went from working at a small weekly ($165 a week and all the pride I could swallow) to contributing to the Associated Press and helping Newsweek on a story. A small-town farm boy eventually got to the point where he interviewed the man who would become President of the United States (Bill Clinton). It took time, and it took experience before I could get myself to the level I wanted to be at. I never worked for a large metropolitan newspaper, but I know I could if I had wanted to.

    Logically, quilting is the same way. I'm sure my mother never thought she would win Best of Show at the local fair, but I think she was most proud of the four queen-sized quilts she created for her four children that we continue to treasure and will do so until we pass on. However, my competitive streak is such that I would like to think eventually I'll get good enough at least to enter our local fair and maybe even the state fair. Of course, I'm going to have to work, study, seek out advice here, and just mainly keep trying to get better before I could even entertain that thought. Yet in the back of my mind I keep thinking "maybe there will come a time I could enter Paducah."

    So what level of perfection do you shoot for? Do you ever want to enter a major quilt show (or have you done so)? I once read that one woman who is an award winning quilter on the national level works anywhere from a year to two years on her show quilts. Could you, or do you, do that? I'd love to know your thoughts.

    Rob
    There's nothing more directly linked to who we are than the fabric that we make.
    --Ken Burns

    #2
    Regarding quilts, the only level of perfection I strive for is that the recipient of my creation knows "perfectly" well that I love them unconditionally! Beyond that, two words I have for anyone who questions the perfection of their quilts are "Galloping Horses"!

    Comment


      #3
      I try with each quilt for it to be perfect. However, if anyone looked closely at any of my quilts they would see seams that might not match up, points that are a bit cut off, and probably other less than perfect things. I have never entered a quilt into any competition and don't have any desire to. I suppose it's because I don't feel that they are good enough. As long as the quilts are used, I have accomplished what I've set out to do.
      ~ Carol from PA

      Comment


        #4
        I have low expectations. 😉
        I have been quilting about 8 years and have vastly improved but don't expect to ever win a ribbon. I am happy to please my quilt gift recipients.
        Remember that there have to be a lot of quilts to make up a show but only a very few win a prize. I will be very happy to be hanging in there if we ever get to have another show.

        Comment


          #5
          I tend to be a perfectionist in some areas, but with quilting I've learned finished is better than perfect. I will resew a seam 3 times max. If it's still not right, it stays as it is. I won't be making competition quilts, but I've displayed some of my quilts at my quilt guild's local exhibit.
          *~* Myrna *~*
          *~* Quilters lead pieceful lives *~*

          Comment


            #6
            Okay now you are up on a pedestal bc being a reporter was always my fantasy job!! I see danger ahead for you in the quilting world. It is obvious from your other posts that you are way ahead of most beginners, for instance the Lincoln quilt you designed. That is so advanced for a beginner and I have no doubt you could figure out how to construct anything if you put your mind to it. I say danger awaits because you seem to be an overachiever seeking perfection. I hope you realize that could lead to two problems: (1) never being satisfied with your current project (i.e. not perfect enough) and (2) constantly striving for perfection can absolutely suck the joy out of the process. Don't do that to yourself and don't compare yourself to others all the time. Just do the best you can and be satisfied with it and perfection will come in it's own sweet time.

            Two years ago I entered a quilt in my State Fair and won first place for hand quilting. It was the first time I ever entered anything and it was so exciting to win. I wanted to enter again this year but everything was cx bc of covid. Next year the competition will be fierce, with everyone on lockdown and having an extra year to produce a masterpiece. So idk if I will enter next year but I can't wait to see all the quilts they will have.

            My advice is slow down and enjoy the process but please keep showing us what you've got! You are very skilled.
            Jocelyn

            Comment


            • Rob the HOAQ
              Rob the HOAQ commented
              Editing a comment
              "Okay now you are up on a pedestal bc being a reporter was always my fantasy job!!"

              Ha! Wait til you cover your first sewer board meeting. The glamour goes out of it fairly quick

              However, your point is well taken. You are correct that I have set high standards for myself throughout my life. I have to admit I was somewhat critical of some of Cheryl's quilts when the points didn't match or whatever. It took doing one for myself to realize how out of line I was (and yes, I told her that). I do want it to be enjoyable and relaxing, and I realize that right now getting the fundamentals down is the priority. Thanks!

              Rob

            #7
            I would like to try an art quilt one of these days. Showing it here and getting some wows would be enough for me. I think I'm more suited to making clothes and matching fabrics to styles. I'm never going to be a fashion designer either though.
            🌺 Lorie

            Comment


              #8
              I am a perfectionist and yet I know that I have a long way to go to achieve that. That being said I have never thought about entering a quilt at a county or state fair. Right now I'm happy if I can improve with each quilt I make.
              Carlie

              Comment


                #9
                I am not a perfectionist by any means whatsoever. However, I do want to continue to learn new techniques & methods of doing things when it comes to quilting & I continue to try to do better with each quilt. I do not make a lot of quilts & have probably made about 25 quilts total in my quilting years. All but 3 of those have been given away & most were lap or baby quilts. I admire quilters like you who dream big & achieve their goals. From the little I've seen from & heard about your work & desire, I have no doubt that you could someday enter your quilt in Paducah. It would be an honor to some day be able to say to someone as I look at your winning quilt....Rob was a cyber quilter friend from my earlier days on the Missouri Star Quilt Co. forum! (Lucky me to have "known" him!!)

                Comment


                • Rob the HOAQ
                  Rob the HOAQ commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Now you're making me blush. Thanks for the encouragement.

                  Rob

                #10
                Rob you are so funny! You forgot you are posting on the MSQC Forum site, so your comment wait till you cover your first sewer board mtg, well it comes to mind are you talking about a sewing guild board meeting or sewer mtg as in wastewater treatment lol

                Comment


                • Rob the HOAQ
                  Rob the HOAQ commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Oops. First rule of journalism is always be clear. Let's just say the meetings I'm talking about don't smell as nice as fabric does.

                  Rob

                #11
                Rob,

                Remember everyday that you are good enough. Never a doubt. It is with enthusiasm and a willingness to learn that we get better in this adventure called "quilt journey". It is an individual journey and not a race. Take your time and enjoy the process.

                I saw beautiful quilts and never thought that I could make one. It takes the investment of time, practice, and yes some tears or tears if you ever improve. I won't be showing my quilts at a show level but I'm still having fun!

                Yes, you are good enough.

                Comment


                  #12
                  I heard once that the object of entering a quilt is not to win, but to show your accomplishments and be proud of that. All shows have different things the judges look for. What may win one year maybe might not even place the next. It is all up to the judge you end up with. Just enjoy this hobby and try entering locally for the experience.

                  my quilts will not be entered in any shows but i strive to do the best to my ability with all I work on

                  Comment


                    #13
                    Well, hmmmmmmm, Rob, I'm not sure how to answer the question. Not that the question isn't clear. I am a perfectionist, to a degree. I love for my points to match, but I've learned not to sweat it if they don't. If it's really noticeable, I'll rip. but I try to be careful as I go.

                    I doubt that I would ever 'show' a quilt. Going to QuiltFest here in Jacksonville, humbles me every time. I don't think I'm anywhere near good enough to enter a quilt show.

                    I've made quilts for family and friends, lots of baby quilts and this year lots of ugly quilts (Christmas presents for my son's inlaws families that will be coming this year if they can travel in December, that is).

                    I think you'll meet your goals. You seem driven and have the passion for your new hobby.
                    Katrina
                    “Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.” Maya Angelou

                    Comment


                      #14
                      Hi, Rob ~ I think Jocelyn's comments are very good. I tend to be a perfectionist; I want seams to match & points to not be cut off. I square every block as I go. But I also adhere to Jenny's comment, "Finished is better than perfect."

                      I like the quote Bonnie Hunter had on her blog today. It addresses life, but it could apply to the quilting process. "Don't let your thoughts of how life is supposed to be get in the way of accepting how things are." I've never aspired to create a show worthy quilt. Personally, I don't want that much stress in my life. The majority of my quilts were gifts for new moms/babies, friends, family, or for charity. I have a few I'm hanging on to that I haven't been able to part with, but if the right person or situation comes along, I'll know when & to whom to gift a quilt.

                      Comment


                      • Bubby
                        Bubby commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I agree with you totally Joy.

                      #15
                      Originally posted by JCY View Post
                      Hi, Rob ~ I think Jocelyn's comments are very good. I tend to be a perfectionist; I want seams to match & points to not be cut off. I square every block as I go. But I also adhere to Jenny's comment, "Finished is better than perfect."
                      .
                      You beat me to it - I tell myself that all the time, to keep from getting to obsessed.

                      I’ve never entered a quilt contest, but I did have a lady enter one of mine in an Idaho fair once - and it won judges choice. She was so nice - sent me a framed picture and the ribbon.
                      sigpicIf you can't see the mistake from the back of a galloping horse, nobody is going to notice it.

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